German courts have ruled that Pastafarians are not allowed to post announcements of services alongside those of other churches.
One of the signs that was ordered to be removed:
The German Pastafarians put these signs up years ago in Templin after other churches were allowed to post signs. There were complaints by locals who felt mocked, and it’s been in the Brandenburg state court system ever since.
It’s disappointing that the courts would discriminate against the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
From the New York Post,
Brandenburg state court ruled Wednesday the group can’t claim the rights of a religious or philosophical community. Judges said its criticism of others’ beliefs doesn’t constitute a philosophy.
I find the reasoning dishonest. They could have made a fair point to say Pastafarians do not share an unquestioning faith of our own Dogma in the way that happens in many religions – that we do not necessarily Truly Believe our outlandish stories in the way that others might – but it is an absurd idea that the majority of Pastafarians have joined the Church in order to criticize others’ beliefs. What a cynical view.
Is it hard to believe that people who are wired to reject faith could be drawn to a religion that respects Reason, one that is OK with Believers not fully swallowing Dogma? Perhaps there are people who enjoy the community of a church, without the necessity of denying Reality?
Aside from that, I do not feel that Pastafarians are inherently judgmental people — I haven’t yet experienced this “criticism of others’ beliefs” that the courts have projected onto our members. In fact that sort of judgmental criticism sounds like what I’ve seen in mainstream churches.
No matter. I’m confident that we’ll win in the end. And I think there is value when government institutions are forced to show their biases. They have ruled against us, but in doing so have exposed their own discriminatory attitude. It may be that the growth of the Church of the FSM is in part due to the reaction of fair-minded people, after these setbacks happen. In other words, a few small-minded people with power have asserted their Authority and “won”, but many more people will hear of what took place and form their own opinions, and that is a win for us.
I would like to thank the German Pastafarians for keeping up the fight. You are an inspiration to us all.
The best article about this court case is here. At the top right you can translate into English.